Look Upon Me!
James Smith, 1860
"Look upon me, and be merciful unto me, as you do unto those who love your name." Psalm 119:132
We should read history—to see how God governs the world; and we should read biography—to see how God deals with individuals. Grace always produces a desire that we may be put among God's children, and be treated as his children. Its prayer is, "Look upon me, and be merciful unto me, as you do unto those who love your name." Psalm 119:132.
The Lord's dealings with his people vary—but they always flow from his love, manifest his wisdom, and glorify his grace! He is represented as simply looking upon them, because with him a look is sufficient. His eye directs his omnipotence, and his omnipotence accomplishes his purposes, and his purposes all meet in their wants and woes.
The Lord looked upon his people in a state of nature—and pitied them, and said unto them, "Live!" When they were dead in sins he quickened them together with Christ, cleansed them, clothed them, instructed them, and took them into union with himself. He looked upon them when under conviction, and directed them to the cross, pardoned their sins, and gave them peace.
He looks upon His people in sorrow—and comforts them, with more than a mother's tenderness and love.
He looks upon them in perplexity—and counsels, guides, and directs them. Yes, He leads them forth in the right way, that they might go to a city of habitations.
He looks upon them in trouble—and sanctifies trouble to them, and then brings them out of it. He delivered them in six troubles, and in seven He has never forsaken them.
He looks upon them in need—and supplies them, giving them bread from heaven, and water from the flinty rock.
He looks upon them in danger—and shields them; He allows no man to do them wrong; yes, He reproves even kings for their sakes.
He looks upon them in death—strips it of its terrors, and when dying receives them unto Himself.
Well, then, may the Psalmist pray, "Look upon me, and be merciful unto me, as you do unto those who love your name." So will many a believer pray now. Indeed, who that knows the value of a look from the Lord, does not so pray?
Look you upon me, for I am sorely tried—I am greatly troubled—I am very feeble—I am full of fears!
Look upon me, as you did on Peter, and break my cold and stony heart—that I may pour forth floods of penitential grief.
Look upon me, as you did on Gideon—and give me strength and courage, to face and conquer every foe.
Look upon me, as you did on Israel—and deliver me from my oppressors, lead me out of the house of bondage, and bring me into the promised land.
Look upon me, as you did on Hannah, answer my prayers, and confer on me the gifts of your grace. O for a loving look, when I feel desolate and alone, when friends and comforters are far from me, and no one appears to care for my soul!
God's custom is, to look upon, and show mercy unto, his own people. This has always been his practice. This has always been his delight. "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." Wherever there is real grace, there is a desire to be treated as God's own children. We need the children's place, and the children's fare.
If we have no distinct law to warrant, or promise to encourage us, when we go to the Lord for any blessing, we may plead custom—God's custom. The marginal reading is, "Look you upon me, and be merciful unto me, according to the custom unto those that love your name."
From the history of the Church, from the word of God, we may learn what God has been accustomed to do for, and bestow upon his people, and we may ask, and confidentially expect the same. "All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." We may therefore expect mercy to be displayed, and the word of truth to be fulfilled, in his dealings with us.
So, through life and all its changes, toils, and trials—we may expect divine support and deliverance. The God of Israel is our God—the Savior of Jacob, is our Savior—and the Comforter of the household of God, is our Comforter. Let us therefore plead as David pleaded, expect as David expected, seek to please God, as David pleased him, and we shall enjoy the lot of God's chosen people—in time and eternity.